October 13, 2021
What would an economy without growth look like?
In this episode, I feature a paper by Hickel, who brings attention to the negative consequences of economic growth in relation to its environmental impact. An alternative he advocates for, is "degrowth" - an economic approach to scale down less necessary forms of production and consumption. While promising, the term itself creates controversy. Hence his effort in clarifying it in this paper.
Hickel, J. (2020). What does degrowth mean? A few points of clarification. Globalizations, 1-7.
October 6, 2021
What do objects that accompany people in death say about what people did in life?
In this episode, I feature a paper by Hass and colleagues, who performed an archeological discovery that challenges the man-the-hunter hypothesis. During an excavation in South America, they discovered a 9,000-year old burial that suggests that female participation in ancient societies' hunting was likely non-trivial.
Haas, R., Watson, J., Buonasera, T., Southon, J., Chen, J. C., Noe, S., ... & Parker, G. (2020). Female hunters of the early Americas. Science advances, 6(45), eabd0310.
September 28, 2021
How can bruises help identify abused children?
In this episode, I feature a paper by Pierce and colleagues who developed and validated a bruising clinical decision tool to help identify abused kids earlier. As Dr. Pierce explains in this podcast episode: https://ucdavisem.com/2021/04/17/it-could-have-been-different/, it is the subtle bruises over an eyelid of a fussy baby that should raise red flags. With this tool, physicians are now better equipped to take action when wondering if abuse is part of the story of a child.
Pierce, M. C., Kaczor, K., Lorenz, D. J., Bertocci, G., Fingarson, A. K., Makoroff, K., ... & Leventhal, J. M. (2021). Validation of a clinical decision rule to predict abuse in young children based on bruising characteristics. JAMA network open, 4(4), e215832-e215832.
September 21, 2021
How do patients shape the stories they tell health practitioners?
In this episode, I feature a paper by Koopman and colleagues who found out how chronic patients develop and enact a strategy for getting airtime during their conversations with health practitioners. And it is not just about writing things down, it also involves actively rehearsing their game plan.
Koopman WJ, LaDonna KA, Kinsella EA, Venance SL, Watling CJ. Getting airtime: Exploring how patients shape the stories they tell health practitioners. Medical Education. 2021 May 12.
September 14, 2021
Why do some people still remain skeptical about climate change?
In this episode, I feature a paper by Luo and Zhao who explain how some biases can give rise to divergent opinions. Polarization along political parties is a case in point. As your motivations dictate the evidence you look for, data about climate change should be presented differently for liberals or conservatives.
Luo, Y., & Zhao, J. (2019). Motivated attention in climate change perception and action. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 1541.
September 7, 2021
How is structural distress experienced by resident physicians?
In this paper, I feature a paper by Sukhera, Kulkarni and Taylor who describe structural distress as a distinctive form of moral distress. When it comes to resident physicians, structural distress centers upon the experience of powerlessness leading them to go above and beyond the call of duty, potentially worsening their psychological well-being. When that happens, faculty play a buffering role through role modelling vulnerability and involving residents in policy decisions.
Sukhera, J., Kulkarni, C., & Taylor, T. (2021). Structural distress: experiences of moral distress related to structural stigma during the COVID-19 pandemic. Perspectives on medical education, 1-8.
August 31, 2021
What explains our tendency to consider solutions that add features rather than solutions that remove them?
In this episode, I feature a paper by Adams and colleagues who bring attention to our tendency to add rather than subtract when thinking about solutions to a situation. It seems as though, subtractive solutions just aren't "top of mind" in most situations. However when dealing with larger societal problems like bureaucracy in organizations and the environmentally unsustainable quest for economic growth, we should reconsider our approach.
Adams, G. S., Converse, B. A., Hales, A. H., & Klotz, L. E. (2021). People systematically overlook subtractive changes. Nature, 592(7853), 258-261.
August 24, 2021
How can historical trauma impact health in current and future generations?
In this episode, I feature a paper by Conching & Thayer who offer a model to understand this issue. It appears that exposure to trauma can result in changes to the genome that could make sufferers predisposed to chronic disease. On top of that, these effects can also be transmitted to future generations.
Conching, A. K. S., & Thayer, Z. (2019). Biological pathways for historical trauma to affect health: A conceptual model focusing on epigenetic modifications. Social Science & Medicine, 230, 74-82.
August 17, 2021
Is it possible to assign a dollar value to culture?
In this episode, I feature a paper by Graham and colleagues who explored the relationship between corporate culture and business value. And a key insight they uncovered was the importance of separating cultural values and cultural norms for understanding the connection between culture and performance. Cultural values are the ideals employees strive to fulfill, while cultural norms reflect whether employees “walk the talk” by actually living out those values. When both are aligned, the value of a company increases.
Graham, J. R., Harvey, C. R., Popadak, J., & Rajgopal, S. (2017). Corporate culture: Evidence from the field (No. w23255). National Bureau of Economic Research.
August 10, 2021
What does civic honesty look like around the world?
In this episode, I feature a paper by Cohn and colleagues who examined the trade-off between honesty and self-interest in 355 cities spanning 40 countries. They turned in more than 17,000 lost wallets containing various amounts of money. And they found that contrary to what we might expect, people were more likely to return wallets that contained larger amounts of money. Apparently the shame of viewing oneself as a thief played a role in this behaviour.
Cohn A, Maréchal MA, Tannenbaum D, Zünd CL. Civic honesty around the globe. Science. 2019 Jul 5;365(6448):70-3.